The ExpressJet fleet will have a range of about 2,000 miles. The ExpressJet aircraft will be refurbished to include free XM Satellite radio with more than 100 channels of programming, advanced seat assignments with no middle seats and complimentary snacks and meals on longer flights.
The 44 aircraft should become available to ExpressJet over the next six months. Continental has hired Republic Airways' Chautauqua to replace ExpressJet on some routes. Chautauqua will provide the Continental Express service using 44 of its own RJs -- both Embraers and Bombardier CRJs.
Continental subleases to ExpressJet all 274 Embraers that the regional carrier has been flying.
Apart from its new solo service, ExpressJet continues discussions with a prospective U.S. partner to operate 10 Embraer 145XRs under a capacity purchase agreement. ExpressJet expects to complete these negotiations during first quarter 2007 and to make an announcement once definitive agreements are executed.